Preview: This week's gig guide
Simon ParkinDEVON SPROULENorwich Arts Centre, October 16Growing up on an American hippie commune and releasing her first album at just 16, Devon Sproule got her British break on Later With Jools Holland, when she played tracks from her last album, 2007's Keep Your Silver Shined, an organic, country-tinged record that melted the hearts.Simon Parkin
Norwich Arts Centre, October 16
Growing up on an American hippie commune and releasing her first album at just 16, Devon Sproule got her British break on Later With Jools Holland, when she played tracks from her last album, 2007's Keep Your Silver Shined, an organic, country-tinged record that melted the hearts.
Brimming with shimmering guitars, Sproule's evocative lyrics, the album conjured images of balmy evenings in the American south, of orchards, bourbon and the timeless traditions of American folk, swing and country.
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This year's follow-up, �Don't Hurry For Heaven!, saw her moving away from the twee Southern persona she crafted, as if a fear of being typecast sent her running towards a more balanced sound. It is as sentimental and evocative as the rest of her work, but this time the tracks are cast in a more solid band setting.
Her husband Paul Curreri, an established and incredibly inventive singer-songwriter in his own right - and crucially the producer of her new album, will be in the backing band here
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t Further listening: www.myspace.com/devonsproule
Waterfront, October 19
Indie-rockers Idlewild arrive in Norwich in support of their more eclectic sounding new album, Post-Electric Blues. It's an album full of bombast, flecked with 70s synths and dashes of brass. In terms of style it leaps from Fleetwood Mac epic folk/rock/pop peaks into joyous Loch-side sing-a-longs.
Written in Scotland and recorded in Wales (and Scotland), it is surely an album that was made to play live, as lead singer Roddy Woomble explains: 'Most bands now make their living through concerts, and we're no exception, so records have to be tailored that way. There are a million new bands on the radio waves, or digital waves, now so it's more important to us how we will sound good through a PA system in a club and that we can play and sing it all!'
The album features the new single, Readers & Writers. Support comes from Xcerts, who will be playing songs from their debut album In The Cold Wind We Smile.
t Further listening: www.idlewild.co.uk
Waterfront, October 19
Eleven-piece folk, funk, jazz, world, musical-hall-inspired big band Bellowhead are hailed as one of the best live acts on the folk festival scene.
Winners of numerous BBC Awards, including an unparalleled three gongs for Best Live Act, they arrive in support of only their second album, Matachin, which takes bold steps on from their ground-breaking debut album, Burlesque, an album heralded as one of the most important folk recordings ever made.
Bestselling recordings aside, however, it is in their electrifying live shows that they truly shine. Audiences are regularly whipped into a frenzy and have already been responsible for the destruction of two festival dance floors.
They recently caused uproar with a Dirty Weekend, a stunning, sell-out Band In Residence at London's Southbank Centre that came complete with choir, cross-dressing and Burlesque dancers.
t Further listening: www.myspace.com/thisisbellowhead
Waterfront, October 22
Like fellow Glaswegians Belle and Sebastian, twee indie rockers Camera Obscura specialise in the romantic, and their new album delivers lavish strings and a little more bite to their songs of heartache.
The band have released three albums since forming in 1996, the most successful being Let's Get Out Of This Country. Known for their great live shows, their special blend of melodic sunshine-strewn pop has won them rave reviews.
Since the amicable departure of percussionist, trumpeter and proud daddy Nigel Baillie in 2008, who still pops up onstage occasionally, they have existed as a five-piece comprising singer Tracyanne Campbell, bassist Gavin Dunbar, guitarist Kenny McKeeve, keyboard player Carey Lander and drummer Lee Thomson.
They released their fourth album, My Maudlin Career, earlier this summer and its more polished and poised to build on cult 2006 single Lloyd, Are You Ready to Be Heartbroken?
t Further listening: www.myspace.com/cameraobscuraband
SOUNDS IN THE CITY
t October 16
Dizzee Rascal (hip hop) - UEA
The Collective (soul/funk) - Brickmakers
Vegas Fame Index (indie) - B2
Dumpster Pop (ska/punk) - Marquee
Uh Ohs (indie) - Take 5
Kraus Joynes Delany (folk) - Cider Shed
Barking Spiders (rock/indie) - Blueberry
Mohawk (space rock) - King Edward VII
Beyond Duplication (rock) - Walnut Trees Shades
Take 2 (pop/rock) - Lakenham Cock
t October 17
Roni Size (DJ set) - Media
The Barlights (indie) - Arts Centre
This Town Needs Guns (indie/pop) - Marquee
Modfest (rock) - B2
Pure Passion (rock) - Brickmakers
Money Shot (rock/indie) - Blueberry
Mister Pink (rock) - King Edward VII
Red Leaf (rock/indie) - Boundary
In Rapture (rock) - Club Sanctuary
Ricci (rock) - Lakenham Cock
t October 18
Editors (indie/rock) - UEA
Next Big Thing (local bands) - B2
James Goodwin & Dave Tomas (blues - 2.30pm) - Cider Shed
Lee Vasey Big Band (12pm) - Brickmakers
t October 20
Kate Walsh (pop/folk) - Arts Centre
Norwich Promo: feat. Tonight We Fire + more (pop/punk) - B2
In Rapture (rock) - Brickmakers
Martin Eaton (jazz) - Rackheath Green Man
t October 21
Kurren & The Wolfnotes (folk) - Arts Centre
Hair Traffic Control (indie/rock) - Marquee
t October 22
Reverend & The Makers (rock) - UEA
Jackie Oates (folk) - Arts Centre
Avosetta (metal) - B2
Pandemonium (rock) - Brickmakers
Witches (rock/country) - Marquee
Robert Brown (folk/rock) - Blueberry
Ron Sayer (blues/funk) - Walnut Tree Shades